Omnium Gatherum - The Redshift

To convince you that the new album of Omnium Gatherum “The Redshift” is one of the best works that you will hear during this prolific year of 2008, it should suffice to state that Dan Swano, that charismatic figure of the underground considers it one of the best releases of melodic Death-Metal of recent times.
Although the former leader of Edge of Sanity can be a little suspicious to talk about “The Redshift” considering he was involved in the conception of the Finns fourth record by taking care of the mixing job at his infamous Unisound studios, it is truth that not all the works the Swedish guru puts his fingers on turns into gold and deserves his seal of approval announced publicly.
For those who haven’t yet heard Omnium Gatherum’s songs I must urge you to grab a copy of “The Redshift” to listen to their graceful and melodic Death-Metal with Progressive nuances, it will certainly be a rewarding experience.
In “The Redshift” their blend of progressive melodies with Death-Metal aggressiveness appears to be more refined and mature, clearly demonstrating that the sextet possess a especial knack to incorporate magnificent melodies and luxurious and slightly byzantine arrangements between brutal and aggressive riffs.
Clearly superior in comparison to their previous work “Stuck Here On Snakes Way”, the new record stands out for being a more melodic and accessible work, their progressive tendencies are still present though, especially in the guitar leads that along with the keyboards of Aapo Koivisto give a certain 80’s feel akin to Marillion and Rush to some of these songs. Guitarists Markus Vanhala and Harri Pikka have focused to some extent on more straightforward and aggressive riffs and some truly memorable harmonies, without however forgetting some of the complexity that always characterized their sonority.
The opening theme “Nail” for example, cranks out in a fast pace with some catchy riffs intertwined between intricate guitar harmonies that lead into a contagious and melodic chorus and then gets followed by a splendid and elaborated guitar solo.
“The Shadowkey” is also a remarkable and diverse song, exhibiting some progressive leanings it displays an impressive guitar work and an incredibly rich and compact bass line that sometimes brings to mind the style of Rush’s Geddy Lee.
The bass work of Eerik Purdon is worthy of note for his playing doesn’t merely follow the rhythm of the guitars, but instead shows a proper, inventive and dense style.
Elsewhere, “Chameleon Skin” continues to display magnificent harmonies and great guitar leads, and some tasteful and subtle keyboard lines, while the mellow piano-driven “No Turning Point” shows a remarkably memorable and strong chorus with vocalist Jukka Pelkonen singing in a gruff yet incredibly perceptible tone that brings to memory the early period of their compatriots Amorphis. The vocal performance of Jukka also appears to be more confident and completely integrated in the group’s sonority, clearly not revealing any restraints to experiment other approaches like the clean, more emotional singing of “Greeneyes”.
Diverse, interesting and deliciously melodic, “The Redshift” is an album that grows with consecutive auditions and the more I get myself familiar with these songs the more I agree with that gentleman named Dan Swano, certainly one of best melodic Death-Metal works of this year! (8/10)

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